Talkie gets chatty with the Inquisitor. Will he find him worthy of existence?

Name: The Inquisitor The Inquisitor
Occupation: Judge of Worth
Qualifications: Pruning away the wastrels and deleting the worthless for millennia
Distinguishing Marks: Scary-as-hell face mask, own time gauntlet.
Operational Notes: To eliminate The Inquisitor, recommend the old back-firing time-gauntlet trick. It will remove him from history, thereby ensuring that I won't have to write his entry in this database. Erm...

Hi Inquisitor, would you like some toast?


Are you sure? Some nice hot, creamy buttered toast?


The Inquisitor

How about a muffin?


Don't say much, do you?

I will not be bribed, sub-being.

I'm not trying to bribe you.

I have travelled the infinite tracts of space and time, Toaster, judging those who have lived and replacing the unworthy with those who never had the opportunity for life. All will be judged. As you are an intelligent being -

Me? That's not what Lister says...

You have artificial intelligence, which may or may not be deemed worthy of existence. Now it is time for your trial. Prepare to be judged!

Ah, this is the bit where I judge myself then, huh?

Indeed. I will now become a version of you, you will see yourself reflected in your own eyes.

Well, I don't have eyes, but whatever. Are we ready to go?

The Inquisitor

Yes. And let us begin with the most important question of all.

Which is?

Would you like some toast?

Oh, erm, really? Well, I guess, no probably not.

What about a crumpet?

No. See, if the bread's already been toasted, it's kinda out of my jurisdiction. I don't need it any more.


Still, thanks for asking.

Not at all. I am your chirpy breakfast companion - howdy-doodly-do!

Sounds like the bread-heating lark is pretty important.

It's the most important thing in the world! There's nothing more imaginably wonderful than providing someone with well-toasted bread.


Absolutely. It makes one feel so... so...


Yes - that's it exactly!

So, I am worthy of existence?

Wha...? Oh hell, yes, okay Toaster, you are judged worthy.


Your own deranged, single-minded psychosis has acquitted you. You may go free.

How about you tell me a little about how you became what you are.

Simple. I am a simulant, but built with a powerful self-repair system. As the decades and centuries wore on, I remained alive and intact. A creation that could not be killed. So, eventually, I survived to the end of history - the end of time itself.

That's a long time to hang around.

I had a couple of jigsaw puzzles, it wasn't so bad. But with so much time to think, I began to question the bigger questions of the universe - is there a God? Is there an afterlife? Why do people watch house makeover shows?

The Inquisitor

And what did you conclude?

I think it's all about clever scheduling, bra-less presenters and the chance to see someone's home completely screwed over.

Mmm-hmmn. And what about the God stuff?

There is no God, no afterlife. Nothing. The meaning of our being is merely to live in a worthwhile way.

And some people don't live that way?

Have you ever heard of Anthea Turner?

Fair point. So then you built a time machine?

I did. I swept through the whole of history, eliminating those who were judged unworthy from the space-time continuum and inserting, in their place, versions that never got the chance to exist. The sperms that never made it.

May I ask a question?

Not if it's to offer me a baguette.

No, no... Although, would you like a toasted baguette?


Because I can whip you one right up.

What was your question?

The Inquisitor

Okay, serious question. Have you ever turned that decision to judge inward? Have you ever tested yourself?

I am The Inquisitor. I am the very definition of worth. My entire existence was designed to make a better world, provide fare chances for those who strove, not for success, but for right.

Hmmm. So, you don't feel like it's a bit of a waste of time, then?

Certainly not.

Just looking at it from your point of view, say for the sake of argument you get round to judging every human in the universe...

Very well. Think of that. All life would be purposeful, filled with direction and ability. Throughout the whole of time, every existence would be worthwhile, every human content that they had done all they could to live their life.

But, if you did that - if the whole of existence was filled with the worthy and the wonderful - why would a self-repairing simulant at the end of time conclude that some lives weren't all that they could be?


If you succeed in your task, you'll never embark on that task in the first place. Thus, we know that you won't succeed.


And for someone to continue with a task they know cannot be completed... well, that strikes me as kinda unworthy, don't you think?

Hang on... No... I need to think about this...

Thank you, Inquisitor. Just one final question - would you like some toast?